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Recent grad - lateral to B4 or MsC pre MBA

 
#1 Recent grad - lateral to B4 or MsC pre MBA
28/02/2017 14:45

ukstrategy

I'm currently working in an operational/compliance/back office role in a non bulge bracket bank in London.

I was offered a permanent position during an internship before finishing my bachelor's degree and I took it despite being interested in Strategy Consulting, as I figured the industry experience and name on the resume could help me lateral further on or after an MBA.

Now, the learning curve has halted and I'm worried my current trajectory will not be sufficient to get me into a good MBA. I'm not experienced enough for the jobs posted online (senior consultant) and I'm at a big disadvantage for graduate roles due to my non-uk, non-target school degree.

I've narrowed it down to a couple options:

a) Stay in my current 9 to 5 job, pursue the ACA(CPA), CIMA or CFA, apply for Big 4 roles in related areas as an experienced hire. Further on, go to a top MBA and try for Strategy Consulting. This is probably the most logical option, although I'm not particularly interested in staying at my current job and learning nothing. I'm also worried my no name undergrad school will be a major disadvantage for MBA placement.

b) Quit my job and pursue a Masters in Management at London Business School or similar. This could be a way of entering graduate recruiting but it wouldn't make much sense to do an MBA further on, it would be an all or nothing situation. If I get the job in strategy I'm good, otherwise I'll have to choose a different career.

c) Quit my job and pursue a non-management Master's degree (e.g Economics) at a target school. Try for management consulting, otherwise start as a graduate in a job with more opportunities for progress. Do MBA, try for strategy consulting. This option is interesting for furthering my knowledge and adding a brand name school to my resume for MBA placement further on.

d) Do an unrelated part time Master's degree (e.g. History) while working in my current job, keep applying for b4 roles, do an MBA further on.

What do you think could be the best option? I'm currently networking with consultants but I do recognize my current profile makes a referral hard to justify.

Thank you in advance.

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#2 RE: Recent grad - lateral to B4 or MsC pre MBA
28/02/2017 15:24

marsday to ukstrategy (#1)

I'm currently working in an operational/compliance/back office role in a non bulge bracket bank in London.

I was offered a permanent position during an internship before finishing my bachelor's degree and I took it despite being interested in Strategy Consulting, as I figured the industry experience and name on the resume could help me lateral further on or after an MBA.

Now, the learning curve has halted and I'm worried my current trajectory will not be sufficient to get me into a good MBA. I'm not experienced enough for the jobs posted online (senior consultant) and I'm at a big disadvantage for graduate roles due to my non-uk, non-target school degree.

I've narrowed it down to a couple options:

a) Stay in my current 9 to 5 job, pursue the ACA(CPA), CIMA or CFA, apply for Big 4 roles in related areas as an experienced hire. Further on, go to a top MBA and try for Strategy Consulting. This is probably the most logical option, although I'm not particularly interested in staying at my current job and learning nothing. I'm also worried my no name undergrad school will be a major disadvantage for MBA placement.

b) Quit my job and pursue a Masters in Management at London Business School or similar. This could be a way of entering graduate recruiting but it wouldn't make much sense to do an MBA further on, it would be an all or nothing situation. If I get the job in strategy I'm good, otherwise I'll have to choose a different career.

c) Quit my job and pursue a non-management Master's degree (e.g Economics) at a target school. Try for management consulting, otherwise start as a graduate in a job with more opportunities for progress. Do MBA, try for strategy consulting. This option is interesting for furthering my knowledge and adding a brand name school to my resume for MBA placement further on.

d) Do an unrelated part time Master's degree (e.g. History) while working in my current job, keep applying for b4 roles, do an MBA further on.

What do you think could be the best option? I'm currently networking with consultants but I do recognize my current profile makes a referral hard to justify.

Thank you in advance.

how about

e) realise that strategy consulting isnt the golden goose and it's a waste of your life (and with the MBA a lot of money and opportunity cost) to pursue something you are very unlikely to achieve?

f) look for advancement opportunities in the bank you are in to gain more experience/expertise in back office functions, perhaps look for in-house projects opportunities. Far more consulting work is back or middle office focused in FS than front office

g) get realistic - if you are in a BO 9 - 5 job frankly you probably wont have the exposure to keep up with the CFA curriculum (ie the on job learning). It's a killer and frankly the workload alongside your day job eats the MBA for breakfast.

h) ACA - good sense, good move. Do it.

i) CIMA. Dont see how it's relevant to move you on from where you are.

j) get deeper on compliance - its where the action will be in banking for the next decade

k) stop writing lists Mars.

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#3 RE: Recent grad - lateral to B4 or MsC pre MBA
28/02/2017 15:42

ukstrategy to marsday (#2)

how about

e) realise that strategy consulting isnt the golden goose and it's a waste of your life (and with the MBA a lot of money and opportunity cost) to pursue something you are very unlikely to achieve?

f) look for advancement opportunities in the bank you are in to gain more experience/expertise in back office functions, perhaps look for in-house projects opportunities. Far more consulting work is back or middle office focused in FS than front office

g) get realistic - if you are in a BO 9 - 5 job frankly you probably wont have the exposure to keep up with the CFA curriculum (ie the on job learning). It's a killer and frankly the workload alongside your day job eats the MBA for breakfast.

h) ACA - good sense, good move. Do it.

i) CIMA. Dont see how it's relevant to move you on from where you are.

j) get deeper on compliance - its where the action will be in banking for the next decade

k) stop writing lists Mars.

I'm not 100% set on strategy consulting although it would be my 1st choice. I'm currently leaning towards pursuing the ACA and joining Big 4 ops or FS advisory as an experienced hire, then go from there.

Thank you very much for your reply.

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#4 RE: Recent grad - lateral to B4 or MsC pre MBA
08/03/2017 07:41

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to ukstrategy (#3)

My take would be that if you're serious about getting into strategy consulting, going to study for an MBA at a top school is the only way that door is realistically going to be opened. You are worried that a top school might not be interested in someone with your background, but if a top school isn't interested then a strategy firm is unlikely to be interested in your profile either.

So if you want to scratch the itch that you need to know whether you could have got into strategy consulting, spend the next year trying to get into a top business school and then move on if this doesn't work out. Or make alternative plans now. In my experience it's extremely unlikely that any of the other routes will get you in.

Hope that helps and all the best with making the right choice for you.

Tony

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